The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone has begun its second round of layoffs in a year, and while the company isn’t providing specifics just yet, up to 6,000 workers may receive pink slips, according to the Associated Press, citing one analyst.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said he expects Research in Motion to cut about 6,000 of its 16,500 employees to help save about $1 billion, though the company would only say last month that the layoffs will be “significant.” RIM, based in Ontario, Canada, said more specifics would come at the end of the month when it releases its quarterly financial results.
Another analyst, Sameet Kanade of Northern Securities Inc. in Toronto, told Bloomberg the cuts may be in the 2,000 to 3,000 range as the company tries to cut 30 percent of its operating expenses..
In an email obtained by Bloomberg, BlackBerry spokeswoman Tenille Kennedy said, “RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year. Headcount reductions are part of this initiative.”
The company cut 2,000 workers last July. It has continued to lose market share to Android smartphones and Apple’s iPhone as government agencies and corporations allow their workers to opt for competing brands. BlackBerry has seen its share of the smartphone market drop to around 10 percent from 44 percent.
RIM, which has been criticized for responding too slowly to innovations in the smartphone industry, is pinning its hopes on a new operating system out later this year that will power the next generation of Blackberrys.
Investors also aren’t happy. RIM’s stock has fallen 60 percent over the last 12 months, half of that since the beginning of this year.